Did you know that the future in English grammar is a lot more than just will? Many students are surprised to learn that there are at least six different verb tenses to express different types of future outcomes. It’s important for all ESL and English learners to practice the different tenses so you can accurately communicate with others. We happen to know just the right reasons for you to use these tenses, and we even have some games and activities to help you learn them. Some of the games looks like quizzes, but don’t be scared! It’s a good way to learn.
Keep reading about the future in English grammar and practice with these games, activities, and exercises. Remember, the future tenses include present simple, present continuous, future simple, future continuous, going to + infinitive, and future perfect.
Present tenses for future
You can the present simple verb tense to talk about events and appointments. This is best with schedule verbs like: arrive, be, begin, close, open, finish, have, start, end, and leave. Usually, the event will be the subject of the sentence. You should also include a time tag. This is something like tomorrow, next month, at (time), on (day), etc. Example: The plane leaves tomorrow morning.
You can use the present continuous (to be + present participle) to talk about plans or arrangements that you make for yourself. You should also use a time tag. If you don’t use a time tag with present continuous, it sounds like a present action. For example:
Present: I am eating lunch with her.
Future: I am eating lunch with her tomorrow.
Practice using these two future tenses with the activities below!
The future simple tense is the easiest to form, but there are many different reasons to use it. The structure is: subject + will + base verb (affirmative) or subject + won’t + base verb (negative).
You can use future simple for:
- predictions: I think the weather will be nice!
- goals or hopes: One day, I’ll have more time to travel.
- promises: I won’t forget to bring your book.
- offers: Come over for dinner. I’ll cook.
- spontaneous decisions: Card or cash? I’ll pay with cash.
Practice using these the future simple with the activities below!
Going to + infinitive for the future
Use this form of the future to describe your intentions, or what you want for yourself. This may be a plan without action. It is often mixed with other forms of the future, including present continuous and future simple. See this example below.
I’m visiting my family next week in Chicago (arrangement). The flight is on Thursday (scheduled event). The weather will be cold (prediction). We are going to stay at home and play games (intention).
Practice using the going to future with these English exercises below!
How did you do with these English quizzes and exercises? If you want to learn more about future tenses, you should read our in-depth post to learn everything there is to know about using the future in English.